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Troubled county's use of public health funds investigated

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An investigation has begun into Northamptonshire CC’s use of ringfenced public health grant funding.

Allegations ringfenced money for 2015-16 and 2016-17 was used to prop up other services is being looked into.

The amount of money involved has not been confirmed but the BBC is reporting a figure of about £10m.

A Northamptonshire CC spokesman confirmed discussions with Public Health England about the use of public health funding in 2015-16 and 2016-17 are taking place and added: “The council’s new director of public health [Lucy Wightman] and Public Health England are being full, open and transparent with each other in these discussions which are progressing well. We have no timescale for completing these discussions at this time.”

A spokeswoman for Public Health England confirmed discussions with the county council are being held but declined to comment further.

In February Northamptonshire became the first council in almost two decades to issue a section 114 notice, which imposed immediate spending controls on the local authority.

Just under two weeks ago the county council passed its budget after having to find extra savings for 2018-19 following a warning from auditors about an over-reliance on propping up budgets using capital receipts.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Any use of PH funds has to be signed off by the DPH, not just the s151 officer.

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